Chicago-based Produce Alliance has announced its partnership with Copia, a technology solution connecting surplus food to nonprofits in need. This partnership enables Produce Alliance to donate pallets of fresh produce and prepared food to community members in need.
Food is the single largest component taking up space inside U.S. landfills, making up 24 percent of municipal solid waste. At the same time, more than 38 million people in America are struggling with food insecurity. Food waste and hunger are linked issues and can be solved through technology and logistics. Copia has built an end-to-end solution that addresses both.
By donating through Copia, Produce Alliance is providing equitable access to produce to communities in need and, instead of dumping edible food, it reduces carbon emissions and accesses meaningful tax deductions for their end customers.
“Produce Alliance is excited to offer our partners this first of its kind technological, national, scalable solution to food waste at every point of the supply chain. The benefits of this program from sustainability, environmental concerns, to doing the good I want our company and partners to pursue and even folding in a tax benefit to those who participate, it seems like this is sustainability solution I have always been searching for,” said Melissa Melshenker Ackerman, president at Produce Alliance.
“With Copia’s groundbreaking solution, restaurants, hotels, schools, airports, grocery stores, distributors and growers can match their donation with a nonprofit, in a matter of seconds, taking away hours of back-and-forth work. This match creates a seamless opportunity to prevent food waste while providing a sustainable, dignified supply chain to not-for-profits who can immediately use it to help those in need.”
After just a few donations, Produce Alliance has donated 15,000 pounds of food to local nonprofits in need, reduced 67,000 pounds of carbon emissions, and saved over a million gallons of water.
“Copia’s partnership with Produce Alliance is creating a new level of innovation to procurement and distribution supply chain,” said Kimberly Smith, CEO of Copia.
“The donations from Produce Alliance are feeding entire communities, many who live in food deserts without regular access to fresh and nutritious produce. We are so proud to be supporting an organization whose entire leadership team is so intrinsically motivated to do good.”
The donations from Produce Alliance have brought joy to the communities they serve. A representative from Grace Klein, a nonprofit feeding the greater Birmingham Area, said, “Our partnership with Copia helps us provide nutritious food at no cost to the food insecure across Birmingham and greater Alabama. Our community greatly appreciates rescued food and celebrates when we can fill plates instead of landfills.”
For more information, visit ProduceAlliance.com.